When times are tough, Spartans step up. They rise to the challenge, finding creative ways to overcome new problems and help others. Executive MBA student Gabriel Escudero Borges has employed the Spartan spirit by designing his No-Touch Tool to help people avoid touching surfaces when leaving their home during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“I was out for a run when I realized that I had to use my finger to press the buttons to cross streets,” Borges explained. “Also, during the same run, I entered a gas station to get water, and I had to touch the door handle to pull it on my way in and then push it open on my way out.
“That’s when I first thought of designing a tool that was portable and that helps you open and close doors and push buttons at any time without having to touch the surfaces with potential germs.”
Borges quickly went to work, developing a lightweight but sturdy design with two basic features: a hook to open door handles and a head to help press buttons. He also added a small hole at the end so that the tool could become a keychain.
Designing the tool came easy for Borges, who has a degree and several years’ experience working in industrial engineering.
“I have held different engineering positions since I graduated from the Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico in 2014, but it was five years ago that I started a research and development position with my current employer,” Borges said. “This brought me to the U.S. four years ago to work for their NAFTA headquarters. Earlier this year I moved to a program management position with the same company, but I always have my engineer hat on.”
Borges currently works as a program manager for Adler Pelzer Group, in the auto industry, and has partnered with a supplier to 3-D print his No-Touch Tool. He is now selling the product for $10 each and spreading the word through his personal social media.
“I have been using this tool for one week now and it is really helpful, especially when I go out for a run or to the supermarket,” Borges said. “I posted the tool on my social media pages and I’ve sold 40 keychains in the last week.”
Borges said he has been taking orders from friends and family and is even preparing a small shipment to Mexico.
Taking things a step further, Borges shared that 100% of the proceeds he generates will be donated toward COVID-19 research. “The World Health Organization has opened a space where you can donate to help fight COVID-19, so this is where I’m planning for the funds to go,” he said. “The more I sell, the more I can donate.”